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Live from PyeongChang: Chris Connolly on NBC Olympics Transmission Workflows

18/02/2018

Live from PyeongChang: Chris Connolly on NBC Olympics Transmission Workflows By Ken Kerschbaumer, Editorial Director

Sunday, February 18, 2018 - 1:28 am

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NBC Olympics has operations for the PyeongChang Olympics that span the globe as the production team in PyeongChang is complimented by a production team back home in Stamford that is hard at work on a wide variety of activities. The two facilities are tied together via four 10 Gbps pipes, two for video and audio and two for data needs like file transfers.

Chris Connolly is overseeing transmission engineering and operations in PyeongChang.

Chris Connolly, NBC Sports, senior director, transmission engineering and operations, says that running on separate cables across the Pacific is providing diversity for signals that are sent via OBS to Seoul and then to Los Angeles via Telstra and then AT&T once they hit the U.S.

AT&T has been a very good partner for us and Telstra was working OBS a couple of weeks back when an earthquake in Thailand caused a cable outage, he says. They made sure the cable was repaired in a timely fashion.

A team in the U.S. led by Tim Canary, NBC Sports, VP of Engineering, and including Jarrett Frazier, NBC Sports, transmission associate engineer, are overseeing the entire transmission network and looking for things like latency issues.

Signals are travelling such long distances that network latency is an issue, so we use JPEG2000 to keep latency as low as possible, says Connolly. Typical latency is about 200 milliseconds for the 108 signals.

At home efforts have gone quite well as games at the Hockey 2 are produced back home.

It's one of our biggest multi-camera venues going back to Stamford and it's been quite successful, says Connolly. People have been comfortable with the communication back home and we expect to see more of that for the Summer Olympics in 2020.

Expanded at home efforts in 2020 is one of the reasons NBC Olympics is experimenting with having commentators on site at curling and ski jumping events and then producing the curling events back in Stamford while the ski jumping events are produced in Control Room X in the IBC.

On the MPEG2 side of things, Ericsson is helping out with on-site support and also support back at 30 Rock in New York City. Ericisson encoders and decoders are used for backup over satellite and also for encoding for digital production needs.

One thing that we have learned is you always need to prepare for every possible failure, says Connolly. But the team has been good as we have a lot of veterans. The team is holding up and it is long hours, but it is a Winter Games so there are not as many sports as in a Summer Games and it's not as crazy.
LINK: https://www.sportsvideo.org/2018/02/18/live-from-pyeongchang-chris-con...
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